Climate change a factor in 'unprecedented' South Asia floods
Scientists say climate change is a factor behind the erratic and early rains that triggered unprecedented floods in Bangladesh and northeastern India, killing dozens and making lives miserable for millions of others.
This year's torrential rainfall lashed the area as early as March. It may take much longer to determine the extent to which climate change played a role in the floods, but scientists say that it has made the monsoon—a seasonable change in weather usually associated with strong rains—more variable over the past decades. This means that much of the rain expected to fall in a year is arriving in a space of weeks.
Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina gave a similarly grim assessment Wednesday.
"We haven't faced a crisis like this for a long time. Infrastructure must be constructed to cope with such disasters," she told a news conference in Dhaka. "The water coming from Meghalaya and Assam has affected the Sylhet region" in northeastern Bangladesh, she said, adding that there is no quick respite for the country.